Rob Blokzijl
Acting Mayor Lodewijk Asscher (left) and Rob Blokzijl at the awarding of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Born(1943-10-21)21 October 1943
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died1 December 2015(2015-12-01) (aged 72)
Roggel, Netherlands
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam
Known forfounding member of RIPE

Robert "Rob" Blokzijl (21 October 1943 – 1 December 2015) was a Dutch physicist and computer scientist at the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (NIKHEF), and an early internet pioneer.[1][2] He was founding member and chairman of RIPE, the Reseaux IP Europeenne, the European Internet Registrar organisation.

Life and work

Born in Amsterdam, Blokzijl graduated from the University of Amsterdam in 1970, and received a doctorate in experimental physics from the same university in 1977.[3]

Blokzijl had been active in building networks for the particle physics community in Europe. He was founding member and chairman of NIKHEF, the National Institute for Nuclear and High energy physics in the Netherlands.[4] At the Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE), the European open forum for IP networking, he was spokesperson at its foundation in 1989 and later chaired this forum. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) in 1992 as the first regional Internet registry (RIR) in the world. In 1999 he also was selected for the ICANN Board by the Address Supporting Organization, where he served until December 2002. In 2013 Blokzijl announced his resignation as chairman of RIPE, as per RIPE 68, after being in this position for 25 years. He appointed Hans Petter Holen as his successor.[5]

In 2010 Blokzijl was awarded Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. He received this Royal Honour from Lodewijk Asscher, the Acting Mayor of Amsterdam.[6] At the 93rd IETF meeting in 2015, Blokzijl was awarded the ISOC Jonathan B. Postel Service Award.[7]

He died on 1 December 2015, aged 72.[8]

On 1 December 2016, the RIPE NCC established the Rob Blokzijl Foundation to honour Rob's legacy by recognising and rewarding individuals who make substantial contributions to the development of the internet in the RIPE NCC service region.[9]


  1. ^ Olivier Martin. The “Hidden” Prehistory of European Research Networking. 2012. p.50
  2. ^ Monique Doppert (2013). Internetpioniers: De eerste internetgeneratie.
  3. ^ R. Blokzijl, 1943 - at the University of Amsterdam Album Academicum website
  4. ^ RIPE Chairman Emeritus Created: Oct 2010 - Last updated: 11 Jun 2014 — RIPE.
  5. ^ RIPE Chair Dr. Rob Blokzijl Announces Retirement, Publication date: 22 Oct 2013
  6. ^ Rob Blokzijl Receives Royal Recognition for his Work as an Internet Pioneer Publication date: 13 May 2010
  7. ^ "Rob Blokzijl Receives 2015 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award". Internet Society. 23 July 2015. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Rob Blokzijl Obituary".
  9. ^ "Rob Blokzijl Foundation".

External links